Customer Centric Design

SynED’s process borrows from Amazon’s technique of “working backward.” Working backwards begins by starting from the customer and solving their problem, rather than starting with an idea for a solution and trying to bolt customers onto it.

Customer Centric Design

SynED’s process borrows from Amazon’s technique of “working backward.” Working backwards begins by starting from the customer and solving their problem, rather than starting with an idea for a solution and trying to bolt customers onto it.

Program Approach

For your project, the process begins with a challenging task: you must write an internal press release announcing a finished solution.

Internal press releases are centered around the customer problem, how current solutions (internal or external) fail, and how the new approach will blow away existing solutions. 

In that case, the manager must continue revising the press release until they’ve come up with something better. A lot of work for an idea that may never come to fruition? Yes. But as McAllister explains, “Iterating on a press release is a lot less expensive than iterating on the product itself (and quicker!).”

When building major solutions, it’s easy to get carried away with trying to add new features or address minor details, a problem known in project management as “scope creep.” Your press release will help you to stay focused, to continue to see things through the eyes of your customer–and to communicate in a way they’ll easily understand.

Start Your Customer Centric Design

Press Release Components

  • Heading: Name the solution in a way your target customers will understand.
  • Subheading: Describe who is served by the solution and their benefit. One sentence only underneath the title.
  • Executive Summary: Give a summary of the solution and the benefit. Assume the reader will not read anything else.
  • Problem: Describe the problem your solution addresses.
  • How: Describe how your solution elegantly addresses the problem.
  • Quote: A quote from a spokesperson in your company.
  • Get Started: Describe how easy it is to participate.
  • Customer Quote: Provide a quote from a hypothetical customer that describes how they experienced the benefit.
  • Closing and Call to Action: Wrap it up and give pointers where the reader should go next.

Emotional Intelligence

This approach isn’t just unique, it’s emotionally intelligent, as well.

Sometimes, we’re emotionally attached to ideas that are not that good. The more time and effort we invest into these ideas, the more difficult it is to let go of them. This generally results in a lot of wasted time, energy, and other resources spent to support a solution that will never be worth it in the end.

By working backwards, you get the chance to work on your idea and flesh it out. You are also forced to put it to the test. After writing and rewriting, refining and reiterating, it will become clear if the idea is really worth pursuing. That clarity often helps you to let go of mediocre ideas so you can concentrate on great ones.

Design Flow

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